Downstate union abandons dues demands and termination threat | WCIL – Marion, IL

MURPHYSBORO, Ill, (IRN) — A downstate factory worker is claiming victory over a union that was taking money from her paycheck. 

Mary Beck slapped both the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Penn Aluminum in Murphysboro with federal charges last year, maintaining that union dues were coming out of her paycheck under a defective contract. 

She added additional charges in August 2022, stating that union officials had acknowledged her demand, but threatened to get her fired if she didn’t pay an unspecified amount of money to the union.

Beck filed charges to defend her rights under the National Right to Work Foundation-won CWA v. Harry Beck Supreme Court decision, which forbids union officials from having employees in states like Illinois fired for refusal to pay for union politics and other expenses outside the union’s “representation” functions. 

“That’s the case that basically recognizes the rights of workers in non-right-to-work states as it relates to how much they can be forced to pay,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, who represented Beck. 

Beck’s charges stated that IBEW union officials didn’t acknowledge her January 2022 and March 2022 requests to end union membership and stop full dues deductions until July 2022, when they finally sent her a copy of the union contract and ended dues deductions. However, they still demanded she pay an indefinite amount of union fees to keep her job.

“Instead of going further with this, I think the union just said lets just pay her back and get it over with, and while that’s a victory, obviously our goal is to press these cases and pull anything we can out of it, but in this case, I think that was the best course of action and Mary wanted to settle the case,” said Mix.   

IBEW bosses now must pay back to Beck all money seized from her paycheck for union dues. The settlements also stipulate that Penn Aluminum management attend mandatory training on how to properly respond to employee requests to end union membership and refrain from full dues deductions.

By GREG BISHOP for the Illinois Radio Network

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March 8, 2023 at 07:33PM

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